Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud computing platforms in the corporate world. According to a report, in 2021, the company generated revenue of $145.5 billion with its public cloud SaaS offering.

Today, organizations need an integrated Microsoft Azure security infrastructure to manage security risks such as cybersecurity mesh, vendor consolidation, ransomware attacks, and identity-first security, among others.

As cyberattacks are a challenge every business has to deal with, it is understandable to have questions about the security features Azure provides. However, it is best to understand the features and capabilities of a solution before you adopt an organization-wide change.

What Security Capabilities Does Azure Possess?

Microsoft Azure provides a range of tools to safeguard different aspects of the cloud environment such as operations, application, storage, networking, computing, identity, and access management. But one needs to have a clear understanding of the ownership of entities in the system.

For example, in a SaaS platform, Microsoft will take responsibility for aspects such as physical hosts and datacenter, operating system, and network controls. But you will be responsible for managing and protecting your data, devices, accounts, and identities.

Thus, when looking for a security solution, ensure it can utilize the capabilities Azure offers and work together to strengthen the cloud environment further.

How Does the Security Infrastructure Help Deal with Identity-based Attacks?

With companies allowing employees and users to access the cloud from anywhere in the world, identity security has become the first line of defense.

Access management, multi-factor authentication, and using the principle of least privilege are practices that can reduce identity-based attacks, but proper configuration, monitoring, and maintenance are required to fortify identity security.

It would help if you had a Microsoft Azure security infrastructure solution that would go beyond authentication. The solution should actively monitor the identities in the system, their behavior, and permissions. High privilege accounts, toxic combinations, violations of IAM protocol are activities that should be monitored and flagged immediately.

Does the Infrastructure Offer Automated Monitoring?

The Azure environment can get extremely complex to monitor using traditional security infrastructure. For example, your organization might run workloads by dividing them into resources, management, and subscriptions. However, monitoring every resource, how it accesses the system, and how it interacts using manual means is not feasible.

Your organization needs a third-party security offering that provides automated monitoring. In addition, you need to have complete visibility over the cloud environment, trust relationships, inherited permissions, data stores, and identities.

You can catch any security risks, violations, and deviations immediately with automated monitoring. You can also configure automated corrective steps for common problems and have alerts generated and sent to concerned teams for appropriate action.

How Can Compliance Enforcement be Achieved?

When dealing with client data, you will have to follow specific rules and regulations for managing data. For example, in the US, HIPAA is a federal law that states that one cannot disclose a patient’s health information without their consent or knowledge.

Similarly, there are other standards such as SOC 2, NIST CSF that you will have to comply with. Third-party security infrastructure solutions that work in integration with Microsoft Azure come equipped with built-in frameworks for these standards and also provide you the flexibility to customize frameworks as per your organization’s unique needs.

You can establish baselines and ensure the system maintains the baseline with continuous monitoring and auditing capabilities.

How is Data Managed in the Cloud Environment?

In the complex Azure environment, data could be spread across different clouds. For example, your team might be using production data in development for testing purposes, incorrectly classified data or access escalation has led to unauthorized data access.

Your security solution should identify all data in your system, who and what can access them, and from where. If data is being misused or incorrectly accessed, concerned teams should be alerted at the earliest.

What Benefits Does the Integrated Security Approach Offer?

An integrated security approach can provide you with a cohesive view of the system. You can gain insights about data and identity in your cloud environment. You can understand how every person and non-people entity in the multi-cloud environment behaves and interacts.

You can leverage capabilities such as data governance, compliance enforcement, data classification, drift detection, risk identification, remediation, and reporting.

Microsoft Azure security infrastructure provides a suite of tools to secure the physical infrastructure, network controls, and operations. But organizations need to take additional actions to safeguard data and identities. Look for a solution that will help elevate cloud performance and security while leveraging the existing infrastructure.